Branching Minds MTSS Summit -- December 8th, 2021

Branching Forward: Setting Intentions for MTSS in the New Year.

What is Tier 2 in Response to Intervention (RTI) / Multi-Tiered System of Supports (MTSS)?

RTI/MTSS, Tiering Students, Starting with MTSS/RTI

At Tier 2, students identified as being at-risk academically or behaviorally through universal screeners are provided scientific, research-based interventions in addition to the core. Approximately 10-15% of students will need supplemental instruction at Tier 2 to become proficient. Tier 2 interventions are implemented with groups of students demonstrating common skill deficits or social/emotional/behavioral risk characteristics. These students can be observed on the Branching Minds platform, where a collaborative intervention plan is developed, monitored, and documented.

What is Tier 1 in Response to Intervention (RTI) / Multi Tiered System of Supports (MTSS)?

Tiering Students, Starting with MTSS/RTI

At Tier 1, all students receive scientific, research-based core instruction implemented with integrity and emphasizing grade-level standards and school-wide behavioral expectations. Instruction at Tier 1 should be explicit, differentiated and include flexible grouping and active student engagement. To ensure 80% of students’ needs are met at Tier 1, high quality instruction is essential. Features of high quality, research-based instruction include (Chard et al., 2008): 

What is Tier 1 Enrichment and Support?

Intervention Spotlight, Tiering Students

Students who are meeting or exceeding standards may require enrichment beyond the core to demonstrate academic growth. It is the school’s responsibility to ensure that all students make academic progress regardless of their entry level. 

The Role of Universal Screening in RTI/MTSS

Universal screener, Starting with MTSS/RTI

Universal screening is the process of assessing all students to identify individuals who are at risk or in need of more individualized support (Hughes & Dexter, 2008). It is similar to screening potential health problems by taking a child’s temperature or monitoring their height and weight.

What is the role of Formative Assessment in Response to Intervention (RTI)?

Starting with MTSS/RTI, Assessment

A formative assessment is a planned process in which assessment-elicited evidence of a student’s status is used by teachers to adjust their ongoing instructional procedures or by students to adjust their current learning tactics (Popham, 2008). To build an effective system, Tier 1 instruction may look different from school to school depending on the predominant needs of their population (e.g., LEP, FRL, Gifted). For example, one school may require intensive ESL support as a part of Tier 1 instruction to meet the 80 percent criterion and another school may require enrichment to ensure progress for high-achieving and/or gifted students as a part of Tier 1 instruction. For those schools that meet the 80 percent criterion, it is still essential to examine the effectiveness of the core and ensure growth of all students.

What does progress monitoring look like in RTI / MTSS

Starting with MTSS/RTI, Progress monitoring

The purpose of monitoring progress is to determine the effectiveness of an intervention plan on student learning. When data show students are progressing, interventions are maintained until students meet identified goals. When data show students are not progressing, a change in intervention is necessary (Fuchs, Compton, Fuchs & Davis, 2008). When changes are made to intervention plans based on data, intervention or phase lines should be placed on student graphs to indicate the change. Students receiving Tier 2 support should be assessed weekly or every other week, while students receiving Tier 3 support should be assessed weekly. 

Special considerations for English Language Learners within RTI/MTSS

Intervention Spotlight, RTI/MTSS, ELA

The term English Language Learners (ELLs) refers to students whose first language is not English, and encompasses both students who are just beginning to learn English (often referred to in federal legislation as "limited English proficient" or "LEP") and those who have already developed considerable proficiency. The term underscores the fact that, in addition to meeting all the academic challenges that face their monolingual peers, these students are mastering another language. Branching Minds takes students’ ELL level into account when collecting the Branching Minds Insight Survey, as well as recommending interventions and accommodations matched to their needs.

Tier 3 Interventions in MTSS (Multi-Tiered System of Supports)

Tiering Students, Starting with MTSS/RTI

Students who have not demonstrated progress with targeted group interventions at Tier 2 require more time in more intensive interventions. Tier 3 interventions are distinguished from Tier 2 interventions because they are individualized based on data collected in individual problem solving, occur with smaller student-teacher ratios (e.g., ideally 1-on-1, however, groups of 3 to 5 students or a larger group broken into a few groups of 3-5 students, is acceptable for middle and high schools), and possibly occur for a longer duration of time (e.g., more daily minutes or more weeks spent in intervention). About 5-10% of students will require this level of intensive support.